The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Browse Subjects > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: Ten O'Clock Lecture, publication
Record 71 of 71

System Number: 08488
Date: [16/23 December 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/2/10
Document Type: ALS

An age - isn't it! - What are we both about?

Well, my dear Publisher and always charming host, I am right enough and almost as busy as you can be - Vanderbilt[3] is here for a few days and so I am finishing as fast as I can the picture you know -

Paris is superb! I have just had a peep at the Boulevards, as I came in here to get you off this line, and the place is brilliant and crammed! Why stay for this [p. 2] Christmas business over there in that gloom? I hear from the Pennells[4] that it is more depressing than ever -

I suppose you will be coming -

Well I sent you all the pieces of the trial excepting Eden's man's plaidoirie[5] - which I haven't got yet, but shall have presently -

I think you had better first have every thing translated - and then I will go over the whole and take the essential and make it all beautiful, and put in the devilry we mean -

The form will be the same as the little brown Ten O'clock[6], and the other pamphlets - and the intention, that it shall be considered a text book or reference - in short a precedent -

You see what has not been got hold of at all in England is the fact that it is a precedent - and that a new law has been made that separates forever the "Artist" and the "Cobler" [sic] - for whom the law in England is the same - Perhaps we had better keep this quiet - or perhaps I may send out a sort of little baloon [sic] before we let off the big one! - I will see - In any case it is all right and excellent[7] business

They will have it every where - and I think it had better be in French too for Paris - I will see Uzanne[8] and talk it over - Now do write - Tell me a lot of things -

pp. 3] Why dont you see George Moore[9] and why dont you let me have the fun of the other sides view of things? -

You ought to now run them down - Did you ever see anything like the collapse of the Max[10] man!!! - and Frank Harris[11] and that lot! - It will all come in you know -

And now go and see Douglas Straight[12] and say that I know how nice he has been (I wrote a note to the Editor) - and at the same time ask him how[13] he could have allowed the vulgar little paragraph to appear the very next day (Dec 4) in the "Art Notes"? - Was it not Spielmann[14] - find this out - The next Gentle Art will be splendid - I am in the humour!! -

But I must have my pound of flesh! and you dont take care of it! -


[butterfly signature]

Write tomorrow

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [16/23 December 1897]
Dated from the references to the Eden v. Whistler case, Vanderbilt's portrait and to the Saturday Review (see below). Vanderbilt arrived in London about 15 December 1897 (see Vanderbilt to JW, 4 December 1897, #05915).

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  Vanderbilt
George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914), collector [more], was posing for his portrait, Portrait of George W. Vanderbilt (YMSM 481) (see G. Vanderbilt to JW, #05914,#05915, and JW to Vanderbilt, #09489).

4.  Pennells
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926) and his wife Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographers.

5.  Eden's man's plaidoirie
The address given in Court in the case of Eden v. Whistler by the French advocate acting for Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. The dispute concerned Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), a portrait of Eden's wife. On 14 February 1894, with the picture seemingly nearing completion, Eden sent JW a cheque for 100 guineas (#02687). JW was dissatisfied with his work and refused to hand it over. Eden instituted legal proceedings against him, which had only just concluded when JW, on appeal, was permitted by the Cour de Cassation in Paris to keep the picture, provided that he did not make use of it. As he suggests here, JW was planning to publish his own account of the trial (see Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]).

6.  Ten oclock
Whistler, James McNeill, Mr. Whistler's 'Ten O'clock', London, 1886.

7.  excellent
Double underlined.

8.  Uzanne
Louis Octave Uzanne (1852-1931), writer [more].

9.  George Moore
George Moore (1852-1933), novelist and art critic [more]. JW had also quarrelled with Moore who had originally introduced him to Eden.

10.  Max
Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), painter, designer, cartoonist and writer [more].

11.  Frank Harris
James Thomas ('Frank') Harris (1856-1931), writer and playwright, editor of the Fortnightly Review and Saturday Review [more]. On 20 November 1897 the Saturday Review had published an article by Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), painter, designer, cartoonist and writer [more], on Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, 2nd ed., London and New York, 1892. JW had written a letter in response (Whistler, James McNeill, 'An Acknowledgement,' The Saturday Review, no. 2196, vol. 84, 27 November 1897; #09921).

12.  Douglas Straight
Douglas Straight (1844-1914), lawyer, politician and editor of the Pall Mall Gazette [more].

13.  how
Double underlined.

14.  Spielmann
Marion Henry Alexander Spielmann (1858-1948), journalist and writer on art [more]. Spielmann, then editor of the Magazine of Art, also wrote art criticism for several newspapers including the Pall Mall Gazette and the Morning Post.